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NAACP suing Mississippi over Capitol Police Jurisdiction

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A legal battle is coming to a head as the NAACP is suing the state of Mississippi over its use of the Capitol Police and the department’s authority after it was just expanded.

According to NBC News, the Governor and Legislature just signed a new bill that creates a temporary court with Governor appointed judges and prosecutors for the city of Jackson. These judges and prosecutors will handle cases brought forward by capitol police officers, an agency that was designed to handle security and protection for the actual Capitol building but has expanded to the entire city of Jackson through legal maneuverings.

The NAACP claims the predominately white legislature is illegally using the Capitol Police to single out a predominately black city.

The governor’s office claims the city’s system is overtaxed with criminals due to the high and violent crime rate and needs to take this drastic measure. The NAACP says it’s avoiding the city system that’s been voted on by the residents.

In just the last year, the Mississippi Capitol Police has seen an influx of power and officers after being an obscure agency for decades.

The signed bills“radically and unconstitutionally circumscribe the ability of Jackson’s singled-out, majority-Black residents to live as full citizens with full rights in their own city,” the lawsuit said.

This is a city that’s seen funding to rebuild its crumbling water system diverted away, causing a massive unsafe water disaster earlier this year.

The NAACP is also concerned that the Capitol Police follow antiqued policies including a use of force policy that hasn’t been updated since 2006, putting residents at risk of being injured by officers.

The NAACP is claiming the state failed the city by not giving Jackson more money to hire judges, city or state officers, and other resources to find an “epidemic of crime.”

The Legislature and Governer’s Office have not responded to the lawsuit.

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